EghtesadOnline: Dismissing allegations by former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over mismanagement in the energy sector, the Oil Ministry said despite difficulties created due to the new US economic sanctions, revenues from oil exports have been received by the treasury.
According to Shana, the Oil Ministry news portal, Ahmadinejad claimed in a talk with the Persian-language Shargh newspaper on Sunday that the government of President Hassan Rouhani has been unable to bring in a whopping $30 billion in oil exports over the past five years.
Shana in a statement said such accusations are baseless in their entirety.
“Revenues related to the export of crude and gas condensates have been received and deposited in legal bank accounts,” Financial Tribune quoted the ministry as saying.
The statement recalled that the ministry has tried to avoid problems related to oil revenues emanating from corruption and lack of oversight.
Under the international sanctions, Ahmadinejad apparently had little choice but let private companies and some sate organizations to sell oil in international markets to be able to import basic goods.
Babak Zanjani, a notorious middleman selling Iranian oil through companies set up elaborate networks for oil trade and laundering the money, including in Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and Central Asia.
Now in a prison in Iran, Zanjani swindled the state and government through multi-billion-dollar oil deals and claimed later in court that he was only trying to help the country and “bypassing the crippling sanctions.’
The Oil Ministry has accused Zanjani of buying a large number of barrels of crude oil from the National Iranian Oil Company worth $2.7 billion and not paying more than $190 million.
“Despite limitations imposed by sanctions and the economic war against Iran, the Oil Ministry has done everything possible to prevent a repeat of bitter experiences in the past,” the ministry said.
The country faced tough western and UN restrictions over its nuclear energy program when Ahmadinejad was in office (2005 to 2013). However, the high price of crude -- on average above $100 a barrel -- in the last years of his presidency – rescued his government and kept it afloat.
Iran is facing new US sanctions after President Donald Trump abandoned the 2015 international nuclear deal Tehran signed with the five world powers. He claimed the accord was too generous to Iran and fails to rein in its ballistic missile program and curb its role and influence in the strategic region.